Slavery is an issue that has existed since the 16th century and still, to this day, thrives in different forms all over the world. Contemporary slavery mainly thrives in underdeveloped and developing countries, but it is not to say that it is not present in developed countries. Modern-day slavery takes place in many forms ranging from but not limited to child slavery, debt bondage, forced labor, human trafficking, forced marriages, and the sex trade. Modern-day slavery is an illicit practice and hence, very well hidden.
The Republic of Iraq is taking numerous measures to exterminate Modern-Day slavery from its very core. The women and girls of Iraq are trafficked within Iraq as well as out of Iraq to neighboring countries under the pretense of work, fake marriages, coercion, abduction, or by families trying to escape through the clutches of debt. Organ trafficking and sexual exploitation are among the many terrors faced by young Iraqi boys. On an international level, Iraq attended the UNSC debate on the matter of trafficking, slavery, and forced labor. On World Day against TIP, a workshop was held in Erbil to serve as a platform to address counter-trafficking strategies.
According to the anti-trafficking law passed by the Iraqi government in 2012, human trafficking is considered a grave offense and will result in temporary imprisonment and a penalty of at least 5 million and not more than 10 million Iraqi dinars. Capital punishment has to be imposed if trafficking has caused the death of a victim. The Iraqi law bans the economic exploitation of children in any and every form. Article 37, part three of the 2005 Iraqi constitution prohibits forced labor, slavery, slave trade, trafficking in women or children, and the sex trade.
Despite all attempts made against modern-day slavery, it still thrives in the world. Countries must introduce and adopt anti-trafficking laws. Suitable legislative actions should also be taken to eradicate these issues. The Republic of Iraq has given relevant training to its police in the past and urges all countries to do the same. A joint effort needs to be made by all countries to abolish Modern-Day slavery. Awareness should be rose, and the victims of this cruelty should finally receive the security and the aid that they had been deprived of. Suspicions and reports of child labor, sex slavery, or similar situations must be taken seriously by the authorities and acted upon. Neighboring or ally counties must come together to share their intelligence and resources.